A deadly month in Oak Cliff: Five homicides since June 14

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Five people have been shot to death in Oak Cliff in the past month.

Robbers killed Leonardo Jesus Ortega, an employee of Subway restaurant at Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, on June 14. Ortega, a musician who supported himself by working at the fast-food joint, surprised the robbers when he came out of the restroom, where he had been cleaning. They shot him in the chest, and the mortally wounded Ortega tried to chase them before collapsing. No one has been arrested in that case.

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A 15-year-old boy was found shot to death in an alley near Brooklyn and Ravinia, behind the home of his friend, on June 28. Police told the North Cliff Neighborhood Association this week that the victim, Joe Martinez, had been “into some pretty bad stuff,” which has taken detectives on several leads, although no arrests have been made.

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Dallas Police shot and killed a 59-year-old convicted rapist and accused murderer, Joe Cody, near North Bishop and Wickford Tuesday afternoon. Cody, a white supremacist who once got away with murder on a technicality, had violated his parole. He pulled a gun on police who were trying to arrest him near Methodist hospital.

And Tuesday night, police arrested 60-year-old Leonard Mornes after he informed police that he had shot two women inside his home in the 3800 block of Ledbetter, near the Dallas Executive Airport. Mornes told police the women had been burglarizing his home when he shot them, but police found no evidence of that. The police report states, “it was determined that no burglary took place and that the suspect shot the victims after using drugs with them, falling asleep, and then finding them still in his home after he thought they had left.” Mornes was charged with capital murder.

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  • Smokey

    The point I attempted to make was that the age old problem of identifying where Oak Cliff begins and ends still exist. The snubbing of OC began shortly after the original developers split and one left to develop Highland Park. The Dallas papers began to refer to anything that happened south of the River as in Oak Cliff. Remember Oak Cliff was an incorporated city at that time of which its southern limits were roughly Jim Town Pike or Clarendon Drive or the Wright St. tracks. When Oak Cliff was voluntarily annexed over 130 years ago it became Dallas and from that day forward newer areas were simply an addition to the City of Dallas. If you use today’s context created by earlier media there were 7 possibly 8 killings in the period of time referenced by Rachel in an area referred to as Oak Cliff by Dallas media. However for statistical clarity and correctness, referring to the 14th of one month to the 9th day of the next calender month as a month…is incorrect. We all know she meant a period of time roughly the length of a month. Rachel is a good reporter and defenetly has the best intrest of our neighborhoods

  • Linda_Coleman

    Better stay away, greedy landgrabbing developers–it’s dangerous here. 😉

  • Antoinetty

    “The Ghetto Part”. Funny….I’d bet the folks who live over near Methodist would argue that their neighborhood isn’t the ghetto part. Same for the folks in pricey Wynnewood neighborhoods. Rachel nails it though…we here in Oak Cliff, north or south, have a crime problem of late.

  • ShawnH

    Well please make the distinction between the ghetto part and North Oak Cliff…because otherwise you offend those in North. 🙂 At least that is what I’m getting from this little chat here.

  • Smokey

    Oh I get it Rachel but I am from here. However many think Oak Cliff is Bishop, Kessler, Stevens and Winnetka Hieghts. They don’t understand there are 350,000 people, 7 High schools, two major hospitals 3 colleges and 2 universities within the modern context of Oak Cliff. You do a wonderful job Advocating those areas, but someone wondering where to go across the river for dinner….. well you get my point. I enjoy your work Rachel.

  • Rachel Stone

    I cover Oak Cliff. There were five homicides within the part of Oak Cliff that I cover in less than a month. It’s not an indictment of our neighborhood; it’s just the truth.

  • Smokey

    Death is an ugly word and murder is even uglier. Oak Cliff because of it’s size, has always caught more than it’s share of negative press. The distance between the Bishop shooting and the shooting on Ledbetter would be considered across town anywhere else in Dallas. In fact it may be just as close from Bishop to say Lakewood, Uptown or Oaklawn but it’s just Oak Cliff to the rest of Dallas. Same lack of perspective that set off the real estate flight 50 years ago. Sorry for the victims and their families, but circumstances took these lives… not Oak Cliff.